Information published on 26 July 2012 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 303.

SECurity of Railways against Electromagnetic aTtacks (Secret Project): 3rd research project of the UIC Security Division

  • Security

SECRET is a research project selected by the European Commission as part of the 4th transport call for proposals under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development.

SECRET addresses the protection of railway infrastructure against Electromagnetic (EM) attacks. Railway infrastructure is an attractive target for EM attacks because of its familiarity and ease of access, with extended economic and security consequences.
Today, the European rail network is evolving to harmonise the management system. This is reflected by new integrated technologies, adequate procedures and centralisation of command centres. The new technologies facilitate the implementation of a harmonised system and improve the network competitiveness.

However, they are also highly vulnerable to EM attacks. Railway actors fear this growing EM vulnerability and have no knowledge on the extent and severity of consequences.
SECRET will develop innovative solutions to reinforce the infrastructure and to prevent the European railway from the EM vulnerability resulting from the harmonisation process. This requires development of technologies in compliance with ERTMS and production of technical recommendations improving the European standardisation and the railway infrastructure resiliency. The work plan of the project extends over 36 months and is structured in five work packages in charge of the technical work.

The main objectives are to:

  • identify the vulnerability points at different levels (from the electronic to the systemic vision)
  • identify EM attack scenarios and risk assessment (service degradation, potential accidents, economic impacts…)
  • identify public equipment which can be used to generate EM attacks
  • develop protection rules to strengthen the infrastructure (at electronic, architecture and systemic levels)
  • develop EM attack detection devices and processes
  • develop resilient architecture able to adequately react in case of EM attack detection
  • extract recommendations to ensure resiliency and contribute to standards

The project is coordinated by ERT (European Research Transport) in France and the consortium is composed of 10 members: research centres (IFSTTAR, Fraunhofer Institute IAIS, Polytechnic University of Turin, University of Liege – Montefiore Institute, University of the Basque Country, ZANASI Alessandro Srl), industries (Alstom Transport S.A., Trialog) and railway representatives (SNCF, UIC).

Given its wide network and experience, the UIC Security Division will have a main role in the dissemination of the results of the project.

The project will officially start on 1 August 2012 and the kick-off meeting will be held at the beginning of September 2012.

For further information please contact Jacques Colliard, UIC Security Division: colliard@uic.org or Marie-Hélène Bonneau: bonneau@uic.org